On the Right Track for Now
I've been painting tonight. Made a few extreme changes, but I'm not done with that yet. I'm involved in changing the contrast, limiting the colors, heightening the drama. I really enjoy developing characters in my paintings, and I'm working on that, trying to have the body language convey some of the thoughts. This, I know, has always been influenced by the years I was involved in participating in "modern dance". In the same way, the music, carefully selected, sometimes atonal, sometimes with irregular numbers of beats in a measure, propelled the steps we invented in choreographing an idea on stage. There were movements of single dancers or groups of dancers that either paralleled each other or played againts each other, which were developed in different places on the stage simultaneously, as well as dancers arranged at various levels on the stage, upright, on the floor, crouching, bending, leaning, for example. All of this was part of expressing an idea or feeling. The Alvin Ailey dancers are superb in doing this. If you get a chance to see them on stage, or even on a video, be sure you do so. Some of the classic pieces choreographed by Alvin Ailey himself (now deceased) express ideas of the life of blacks in the South years ago, that I'm sure were drawn from his personal experiences. How he rendered them on stage is rather like a canvas that takes shape as you build images on it. It's visual in that same way. Judith Jamison (sp.?), his principal dancer for so many years, has carried on as director in his place
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